Saturday, June 29, 2024

it doesn’t matter

 There are some days it’s

Not worth keeping on keeping

On — this is that day

Isaiah 55, morning of peter and Paul, 1996

twenty eight years gone 

bookshop bakery began 

went for thirteen years

at Camden harbor making

conversation nourishment

...   ...   ...

Invitation to the Thirsty

55 “Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
    listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
    my faithful love promised to David.
See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
    a ruler and commander of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations you know not,
    and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has endowed you with splendor.”

Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercyon them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
    and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
    will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
    will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
    and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
    for an everlasting sign,
    that will endure forever.”

--Isaiah 55 

Friday, June 28, 2024

we're missing something

It's not a debate if one person machine guns falsity and criminal projection at another person.

Lies move fast. Truth takes time.

Don't be deceived.

Fools rush in.



Thursday, June 27, 2024


Would you rather

Be Siddhartha Gautama

Or Jesus of Nazareth?

No no no no —

I would 

Rather be


As I am, but

Aware and


while red squirrels climb to feeder

    Napped half the day;   

no one    

    punished me! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

and the wind brings us together

There is a trend in the minds and acts of right-wing republican politicians, office holders, and candidate for the high office to veer toward repression, annihilation of rights, and collapse of any governance that seeks to uphold law and structures of protection for the whole population of America.

Currently reading The Twice-Born: Life and Death on the Ganges, by Aatish Taseer. Taseer is the son of Salman Taseer, who was the Punjab Governor in Pakistan. 

Salman Taseer was assassinated in 2011 by one of his own guards because he stood up against the blasphemy law. During his governorship, he emerged as an outspoken critic of Pakistan's blasphemy laws and consequently called for the pardon for a blasphemy-accused Asia Bibi.

Asia Bibi blasphemy  

In 2010, a Pakistani Christian woman, Aasiya Noreen (Urdu: آسیہ نورین, romanized: Āsiyāh Naurīn, [ˈɑːsiɑː nɔːˈriːn]; born c. 1971[1]), commonly known as Asia Bibi (آسیہ بی بی) or Aasia Bibi, was convicted of blasphemy by a Pakistani court and was sentenced to death by hanging.[2] In October 2018, the Supreme Court of Pakistan acquitted her based on insufficient evidence,[3] though she was not allowed to leave Pakistan until the verdict was reviewed.[4][5][6] She was held under armed guard and was not able to leave the country until 7 May 2019; she arrived in Canada the next day.[7]

In June 2009, Noreen was harvesting falsaberries with a group of other women farmhands in a field in Sheikhupura.[43] She was asked at one point to fetch water from a nearby well;[39] she complied but stopped to take a drink with an old metal cup she had found lying next to the well.[47] A neighbor of Noreen, Musarat, who had been involved in a running feud with Noreen's family about some property damage,[1] saw her and angrily told her that it was forbidden for a Christian to drink water from the same utensil from which Muslims drink, and that some of the other workers considered her to be unclean because she was a Christian, referring to the caste system in Pakistan.[8][9] Noreen recounts that when they made derogatory statements about Christianity and demanded that she convert to Islam, she responded, "I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind? And why should it be me that converts instead of you?"[47][48] An argument ensued.[49]

A mob came to her house, beating her and members of her family before she was taken away by the police.[39] The police initiated an investigation about her remarks, resulting in her arrest under Section 295 C of the Pakistan Penal Code.[38].   (—Wikipedia)

In the United States these days there is a fundamentalist-like creep among lawmakers, jurists, federal and state office holders to restrict, hogtie, and threaten any opinion or dissent to their preferred religious, cultural, or ideological positions.

It feels both immanent and dangerous. Women, minorities, and the economically hampered are in their law-creation, court decisions, and haranguing gunsights.

The air is becoming acrid, stagnant and oppressive. It is becoming hard to breathe.

We need a new and fresh atmosphere. 

Something far from hate and fear.

A new breeze that fills us with fonder feeling.

We need poets.

rāt-bhar sard havā chaltī rahī 

rāt-bhar ham ne alaao taapā 


The air is full of sweets and the wind keeps moving

The air is full of sweets and the wind brings us together

(—from poem, alaw (melody) by Gulzar, Mumbai, India)

Tuesday, June 25, 2024


 Some words, when read, stick around. Lin Yutang’s, for example.

Lin Yutang’s ideal is the ‘scamp’ – an amiable loafer who wanders through life, learning, loving, living. He is a good-natured Renaissance Man, dabbling here and there, connoisseur of nothing, dilettante extraordinaire. He is earthbound, a man of his biology and of his senses. (For Lin, happiness is “largely a matter of digestion.” He favorably quotes a college president who admonished his freshmen that “There are only two things I want you to keep in mind: read the Bible, and keep your bowels open.”) Lin’s loafing scamp is a profoundly embodied mind, not a brain on a stick. And most of all, he’s eminently ‘reasonable’ – a trait Lin mentions throughout, and points to as the very foundation of the Chinese character.

               (—in, The Importance of Living by Lin Yutang, by Mark Cyzyk, in Philosophy Now)

And so it is.

for my own sake

 Who is this Lord? And the angel?

‘This, then, is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:
‘“He will not enter this city,
he will let fly no arrow against it,
confront it with no shield,
throw up no earthwork against it.
By the road that he came on he will return;
he shall not enter this city. It is the Lord who speaks.
I will protect this city and save it
for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”’
That same night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. Sennacherib struck camp and left; he returned home and stayed in Nineveh.


That’s a lot of men to be struck down.

I’d like to rethink Lord/God.

Call it human retaliation.

Call it ego warfare and military arrogance.

Is this what we once called God?

Is this why so many announced God’s funeral?

Is this why Israel-Gaza is so troubling?

Monday, June 24, 2024

their link to mythic tradition

In prison today talk of "ai" and the times to come.

We have no idea.

Migration, challenges, responses that call for novel thinking.

Consider Troy and its nine layers:

Troy (Ancient Greek: Τροία, romanized: Troíā; Latin: Trōia; Hittite: 𒆳𒌷𒋫𒊒𒄿𒊭, romanized: Truwiša/Taruiša) or Ilion (Ancient Greek: Ίλιον, romanized: Ī́lion, Hittite: 𒌷𒃾𒇻𒊭, romanized: Wiluša)[1][2][3][4] was an ancient city located in present-day Hisarlık, Turkey. The place was first settled around 3600 BC and grew into a small fortified city around 3000 BC. During its four thousand years of existence, Troy was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt. As a result, the archeological site that has been left is divided into nine layers, each corresponding to a city built on the ruins of the previous. Archaeologists refer to these layers using Roman numerals. Among the early layers, Troy II is notable for its wealth and imposing architecture. During the Late Bronze Age, Troy was called Wilusa and was a vassal of the Hittite Empire. The final layers (Troy VIII-IX) were Greek and Roman cities which in their days served as tourist attractions and religious centers because of their link to mythic tradition. (--wikipedia)

In 5000 years from now, how many levels of Manhattan or Boston will be excavated? What will they find?

In the Iliad, the Achaeans set up their camp near the mouth of the Scamander river,[100] where they beached their ships. The city itself stood on a hill across the plain of Scamander, where much of the fighting takes place.

Besides the Iliad, there are references to Troy in the other major work attributed to Homer, the Odyssey, as well as in other ancient Greek literature (such as Aeschylus's Oresteia). The Homeric legend of Troy was elaborated by the Roman poet Virgil in his Aeneid. The fall of Troy with the story of the Trojan Horse and the sacrifice of Polyxena, Priam's youngest daughter, is the subject of a later Greek epic by Quintus Smyrnaeus ("Quintus of Smyrna").

The Greeks and Romans took for a fact the historicity of the Trojan War and the identity of Homeric Troy with a site in Anatolia on a peninsula called the Troad (Biga Peninsula). Alexander the Great, for example, visited the site in 334 BC and there made sacrifices at tombs associated with the Homeric heroes Achilles and Patroclus.[6](pp158, 191)[5](p724)  (ibid)

The challenges of climate crisis, of migrations from inhospitable terrain, of politically chaotic systems thinking, of technological developments that give over to artificial intelligence the reins replacing human ingenuity and any measured progress.

I'm uncertain as to the aspect of measured progress being able to be held in check. We seem to be enamored with going forward without restraint or thoughtful consideration.

“Success is man’s god.”
― Aeschylus, Oresteia

“Human happiness never remains long in the same place.”
― Herodotus, The Histories

“Hate is a bottomless cup.”
― Euripides, Medea

“This is the bitterest pain among men, to have much knowledge but no power.”
― Herodotus, The Histories

Things will happen. We will suffer our ignorance. 

Someone will write about it. It will be considered mythic fiction.

we each have one spare set of eyes

Here's why we need poetry: 

 From the Diary of an Almost-Four-Year-Old


                     by Hanan Mikha’il Ashrawi

Tomorrow, the bandages

will come off. I wonder

will I see half an orange,

half an apple, half my

mother’s face

with my one remaining eye?


I did not see the bullet

but felt its pain

exploding in my head.

His image did not

vanish, the soldier

with a big gun, unsteady

hands, and look in

his eyes

I could not understand


I can see him so clearly

with my eyes closed,

it could be that inside our heads

we each have one spare set

of eyes

to make up for the ones we lose


Next month, on my birthday,

I’ll have a brand new glass eye,

maybe things will look round

and fat in the middle—

I’ve gazed through all my marbles,

they made the world look strange.


I hear a nine-month old

has also lost an eye,

I wonder if my soldier

shot her too—a soldier

looking for little girls who

look him in the eye—

I’m old enough , almost four,

I’ve seen enough of life,

but she’s just a baby

who didn’t know any better. 


Poem by Hanan Mikha'il Ashrawi a prominent Palestinian academic, poet, politician, and human rights activist

The poem is (Being) written for the soul present to reality.

Yes, I know, so many dislike poetry. 

Sunday, June 23, 2024

why the spiritual life is difficult

When things seem impossible —

Don’t try to solve it;

Rather, let yourself feel it.

morning watch

Old monk

In bed

Where cat curls

Near eight bells

origin (airy)

This Sunday morning

Nothing moves becoming

Being as itself

Itself has no opposite

Something to love

Nothing to love

Love is itself